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Upon arrival to EU, many refugees are forced to stay out in the open, sleeping in shelters they have to build by themselves. Chios, Greece. Photo: (Ruhi Loren)

Are You Syrious? — Weekly Digest (29/11/2017–5/12/2017)

Summarized: this week’s reports about the refugee situation in Greece courtesy of Are you Syrious?.

There are few days left until the official start of the winter, and so far as AYS reports, there is no solution for all the people living on the islands. The situation for all the people living in tents and shelters they build for themselves is getting worse.

Children of Moria

Among over 15.000 refugees who are stranded on the islands, there are a lot of children. Most of them do not go to school and are forced to stay in unbearable living conditions that resemble prison camps, like in Moria. One of the residents of Moria found a way to send AYS photos from the camp this week.

Lesbos protest

According to the local media, a court on Lesbos indicted 16 North African migrants after they detained 25 protesters late on Sunday, 3/12/2017. Those who were released are minors.

The protests were going on for over one month in order to make a pressure on the authorities to speed up asylum applications process and transfer to mainland Greece.

Vulnerable asylum seekers moved from Lesbos

Ekathimerini reports Greek authorities on Thursday, 30/11/2017, said they have moved more than 250 vulnerable asylum seekers to the mainland in an effort to ease overcrowding. Minister Yiannis Mouzalas told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) that the effort will “intensify” in the coming days. The agency says the Greek government plans to transfer about 3.000 people from Lesbos to the mainland by December 10, while similar actions will also be taken for other islands.

Protest of Mayors from islands

Mayors from the islands of Lesbos, Chios, and Samos, met with the Greek Prime Minister and minister of migration in Athens on Tuesday, 5/12/2017, to press the government for action to ease the pressure on their local communities.

Before the meeting, they said they will demand from the government to speed up the transfer of people from the islands to mainland Greece.

Suicide attempt on Chios

Local website Politis on Sunday, 3/12/2017 reported that in the refugee center Vial the 9-year old boy from Syria tried to hang up himself, using the sleeve of his blouse as an improvised loop. Fortunately, he was saved at the last minute, and was immediately taken to the hospital “Skylitzio”.

The media report that police confirmed the suicide attempt happen in the camp. It is not clear what triggered the child to do this, but the living conditions in the camp certainly contributed. Thousands are living in this overcrowded camp, some of them under summer pop-up tents. It is cold, dangerous and definitely not a place for children. But those responsible are not doing enough to deal with this situation that persists for months now.

Chios (Photo: Ruhi Loren)

Ruhi Loren, an independent volunteer, went to Vial only to find that about 400 people are living in tents.

“It’s windy and cold according to camp residents. One brother told me it was so windy the night before his tent was shaking. The communal showers and toilets are far and for the last two days, the water supplies have not been working. There is also still people living outside on the streets next to the containers due to lack of space and in the woods.”

Deadly car crash in Thessaloniki

On Wednesday, 29/11/2017 Associated Press reported that four people have died during a police chase in northern Greece near Kavala, Thessaloniki. The car, reportedly driven by a smuggler and with 8 migrants inside, plunged off a 25 meter deep cliff. One man is believed to be in intensive care with multiple bone fractures, the other four people including the driver are okay. The names of the dead and injured are not known. The driver is facing multiple charges for manslaughter and human trafficking. The car was bringing people into Greece via the Turkish land route.

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Your independent on-the-ground source for stories, news, and images from Athens and throughout Greece. In English. / /